Cheatham WMA - Where to start?

MGarner

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Sep 3, 2014
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TN
Hey Guys, I'm new here!

I live in Pegram, and I have hunted in the Cheatham WMA for the past few years, with ZERO luck! If it wasn't for a friend of mine with land in KY, I would not have bagged a deer last year (my first one btw).

CHeatham WMA in intense, especially without a 4wheeler. This year I have been a bit smarter and really studied topo's and Google maps, and have checked out a few saddles and such that may be good locations. This year I am focusing on the middle portion of this huge WMA. Past years I focused on the south portion nearest the landfill on Sams Creek.

Any tips you can share for hunting this place would be greatly appreciated!
 

bowriter

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Aug 31, 2002
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Lebanon,TN USA
2nd road to the left past the headquarters, (Hallums Field Road). Go to end of road. Turn around and look closely for the second finger ridge on your right. It is about 200-yards from the end of the road. Walk just far enough out so the woods open up a little-no more than 100-yards. Climb almost any tree on the right side of the ridge. Over the years, we have killed 37-deer from one tree on that ridge. It is a bent and twisted locust with a large vine attached but any tree in that area will work. Prime time is 7:30-9:30.

On that same road, look for the first fain road to your left, coming from the end of the road. Park there and walk out the road to a small saddle. On the right side of the road, you will see some pines merging with the hardwood. Pick a tree on the edge of the pines an within sight of the road. If you can't see the road or cars on the road, you are too far in. Great afternoon stand.
 

bowriter

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Not likely, Dave. It looks to "yukky". Been there for over 30-years and even when we were killing two deer a day out there, hunters just drove by. One day, we killed three. I wrote a magazine article for BOWHUNTER MAGAZINE, entitled "The Magic Tree" and still nobody hunted it. The only thing that little ridge has going for it is deer cross all day.
 

MGarner

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I will certainly check it out, thanks! I say the "yukky'er" the better.

I have also found a long pipeline row that runs the length of a ridge, and then ends where a number of other ridges end. I was thinking about checking it out as well. The pipeline row is realtively clear, but the hike in is about a mile (foot traffic only). Has anyone ever had luck in areas like this?
 

bowriter

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Lebanon,TN USA
You will have plenty of company if you hunt there during gun season.

For several years, I both hunted and guided on Cheatham. many of the best spots are overlooked because they are "too close to the road". I had great luck there, not only in killing numbers of deer but in killing some of the better bucks killed there. I quit hunting there when my hunting duties kept me on the road all through the season and have not been there in about 10-years. However, I am sure of one thing. If you can't see the cars, you have gone too far.

Cheatham does not get the pressure it once did. At one time, I have seen as many as 300+ hunters there on a three-day hunt. That was the key to killing deer. As the hunters left the woods, the deer got and moved-crossing roads. A hunter in a stand near a road, if he was patient, often got multiple shot chances.

I had stand sites all over the area. Most were productive, few had any other hunter pressure. All but a very few were within 150-yards of the roads...just where the hunters were not. None were anywhere near food plots or any of the places most hunters concentrated around.

Give that some thought.
 

MGarner

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All good things to think about, especially since this is the first year I will be bow hunting in this WMA. Gun season is definitely busy on Cheatham WMA, but not 300+ busy...that must have been before the "big die off" several years back that I keep hearing about. Apparently, this WMA has never returned to what it once was; wish I could have been here during those days.

It's funny how you can read one article that says you should walk at least a mile from the road on a WMA, and the next article says to stay close to the road because no one is there.

Bowriter, have you written other articles talking about hunting close to the road, your thought process sounds familiar...but that could be because I feel like I have read every WMA article on the internet.
 

LIL JOKER

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tennessee
I always said if I ever had to hunt cheatham again I would just give it up..lol but after I killed out at ft Campbell in 2012 I decided to go to cheatham.. I seen several bucks and about 6 does I could also see every car that came down the road..
 

LIL JOKER

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tennessee
that spot is very easy to fine ..go down the road behind the store and go to the last little logging road on the left right before the gas line and the end of the wma...walk that road and it wraps around and runs with the main road go to the back where it gets a little wider set up ..
 

bowriter

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I started hunting C in the late 70's and hunted it a lot in the early 80's. I often camped there for entire nine day bow hunt. I scouted it hard and made friends with Sam, the manager before Randy and he tipped me to a lot of places. In short, I knew it well.

I had many stand sites and most were productive. Some were on pieces of land few people knew were on the area. During this period, there were no food plots. It was all hardwoods and to be successful, you had to know what you were doing.

I found one spot that was a small bottom loaded with nothing but white oak and persimmon trees. Sign showed the deer were wearing it out. I stumbled on it blood trailing a deer but I never hunted it for one reason. It was at the bottom of three steep ridges and a river was on the fourth side. No way I was packing a deer up one of those ridges.

Most of the deer I killed, fell within easy dragging distance of the road. One day, from the Magic Tree, I killed a deer at 7:30, one of my partners killed one at 2:20 and another killed one at 4:30-from the same tree. On another day, I rattled in a nice 11-point for one of my hunters. As we were admiring his buck, a dandy eight-point walked by at 60-yards and I killed it. 9It was a gun hunt.)

But that was years ago, back when I scouted hard and hunted hard. Today, I just play around here at the house. But I sure have some fond memories of hunts there...and the ticks.
 

MGarner

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Sep 3, 2014
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TN
Bowriter, although your experiences with this WMA were way back, you have renewed my confidence in this area! Thanks for all your insight...time for me to study the topo's a bit more!

BTW, I welcome copies of your old maps laying around! haha
 

doubledownranch

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Aug 9, 2011
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Old Hickory / Watertown
PillsburyDoughboy said:
It's been 18 years since I hunted Chetham.

Shall I say...never again :)

Been 11 years for me. Only way I would go would be with a group of buddies that all wanted somewhere to hunt together. I don't have any hunting partners, so I'd probably be out.
 

WORM82

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Apr 28, 2008
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Jonesborough TN
Last time I hunted there was a year or 2 before the big ehd die off during muzzleloader season and I seen the biggest buck I have ever seen in my life. I could clearly see his rack from 800 or so yards and couldn't believe what I was seeing when I looked thru my 3x9 scope zoomed all the way in. This is a block of the wma that was across sams creek rd from most of the wma. He was standing on top of a hill in a powerline. We tried to ease up there but he was gone.
 

bowriter

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I know that hill well. I killed a big doe there one year and for some reason, never went back. I use to park at the little block building (may not still be there) and walk up the dry creek bed before climbing to the ridge top. Probably not many know that is part of the area.
 

MGarner

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Sep 3, 2014
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TN
Update:

After several years of cultivating a relationship with a land owner adjacent to the WMA, I have been granted permission to bow hunt from his land. Walked a trail from his house yesterday, and there is a ton of sign. It basically looks like an animal superhighway. Gonna save this spot for days where I can sit for a long time, and when the winds are perfect.

However, I will also be further scouting the WMA for some of these previously mentioned spots. Looks like it could be a busy season!
 

turbobuck

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Sep 25, 2014
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TN
Where is Bowriter speaking of when he says "2nd road to the left past the headquarters, (Hallums Field Road)." Is this on the southside of the WMA?

TB
 

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